Lyme Disease Case Studies

Anti-inflammatory treatment the key to lyme success

A female in her 20’s with joint pain was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. Due to the presence of other symptoms including severe fatigue, sweats, burning, tingling, headaches and brain fog her Naturopathic Doctor tested her for Chronic Lyme Disease. The naturopathic patient was positive for Chronic Lyme Disease and also had clinical symptoms of Babesia. She was also extremely anemic and was receiving iron injections. The naturopathic patient had been treated previously with antibiotics and IV vitamins but came to the Nardella clinic for additional naturopathic treatment options.

Her naturopathic doctor recommended that she, in consultation with her medical doctor, continue the oral antibiotic treatment that she had previously been prescribed. The patient also started naturopathic IV. This naturopathic IV regimen was chosen to help to kill infection, support the immune system, and decrease inflammation. Since the naturopathic patient had extremely elevated inflammatory markers and severe joint pain, her Naturopathic Doctors also recommended 40 hyperbaric oxygen treatments.

Over a 2-month period the naturopathic patient noticed an improvement in energy, cognition and decreased pain.  Her inflammatory markers decreased by 75% and her red blood cell count improved. Her night sweats had also decreased in both frequency and severity and sleep quality also improved. Her energy had increased to a 7/10 and her mood had improved.

The naturopathic patient continues to have low vitamin and mineral levels and is continuing with iron infusions and naturopathic IV vitamins. Her Naturopathic Doctor also recommended she continue her antimicrobial treatment and weekly hyperbaric oxygen therapy to help to manage the inflammation and treat her chronic infection.

Woman takes back her life from lyme disease

A woman in her late 40s came to the Nardella clinic for a naturopathic consultation complaining of severe pain that moved all over her body. It began a year and a half prior, when she experienced sudden shoulder pain during a camping trip. The pain got worse as the day went on and continued for three days. Three months later a similar pain began in her knee and lasted a few days. The pain — along with swollen joints — continued to flare every few weeks.

She saw a rheumatologist, and all of her blood work came back normal. Doctors placed her on multiple pain medications and over the counter pain medication to help control the symptoms. She also noticed insomnia, mood swings, and a significant decrease in her energy levels. She was unable to exercise even though she previously was very active. The pain had gotten so bad that she was unable to even walk up stairs some days. Her rheumatologist diagnosed her with fibromyalgia.

A Naturopathic Doctor at our Calgary clinic completed Lyme disease and co-infection testing to evaluate the possibility of tick-borne disease. The testing came back positive for Borrelia burgdorferi — the bacteria that causes Lyme disease — and Anaplasma phagocytophilum, a bacteria of the Rickettsiaceae family that invades white blood cells.

The patient then started a naturopathic treatment plan that was designed to help the body kill the infection, decrease pain and inflammation. Her naturopathic treatment included a combination of IV vitamins and hydrogen peroxide, naturopathic herbal and vitamin supplements, and oral antibiotics (prescribed by her medical doctor).

Within three weeks of treatment the naturopathic patient noticed a reduction in swelling and pain for the first time. Her energy was still low and she was experiencing lymph swelling and fatigue, so treatment was continued.

Over the next three months her energy continued to improve and the pain resolved significantly. The naturopathic treatment plan then changed, discontinuing antimicrobial treatments and continuing naturopathic immune support, such as IV vitamins, to continue supporting the healing process.

After a few months the naturopathic patient noticed her fatigue was increasing again and she had a few flares of pain in both her knees and shoulder. She once again started on treatment to kill the infection and within a month was feeling as good as a few months prior. The patient stayed on naturopathic herbal antimicrobials that are specific for Lyme disease for three months after the antibiotics.

At the six month follow-up the naturopathic patient was continuing on fish oils, a naturopathic anti-inflammatory herbal, and was receiving IV vitamins once a month. The naturopathic patient reported resolution of her pain, and was taking no pain medication of any kind. She had experienced no symptoms for three months, energy was the best in years, and her anxiety had also resolved. The naturopathic patient has a high stress job so current and future naturopathic treatments are continuing to help manage her stress and decrease the risk of any future flare-ups.

Resolution of a childhood infection

A twenty-three year old male naturopathic patient first became ill when he was eleven years old. He was very sick and suffered from a complex set of symptoms including:

  • Palpitations
  • Weakness
  • Pain
  • Depression
  • Fainting
  • Difficulty gaining weight
  • Numbness/tingling
  • Confusion
  • Chemical sensitivity
  • Heat intolerance
  • Headaches

“I don’t remember the 11th year of my life. From what others tell me I was very sick with something that looked like a simple flu. I experienced constant fatigue and pain, especially in my major joints and legs.” The naturopathic patient had received naturopathic care in the past including chelation therapy, IV nutrients and food allergy testing. These naturopathic treatments improved symptoms but never brought him to full health. He was unable to work and the activities of daily living were extremely limited. Although the naturopathic patient does not recall being bit by a tick, he used to hunt with his grandfather during the time he first became ill. The patient was underweight for his height and he had great difficulty increasing his muscle mass.

“In a moment I now refer to as the Febreze Incident, I inhaled some Febreze that had drifted to where I was on the couch. I tried to vacate the area because the fumes made me feel nauseous but I found I could not move from the neck down. Eventually I was able to stand, but after several steps I fell flat on my face. That was the beginning of the truly debilitating phase of my illness. Most distressing of all was what happened to my mind. It just didn’t work anymore. I could barely remember how to spell my own name.”

The patient was tested by a naturopathic doctor for Lyme disease and co-infections and he was positive for both Lyme disease and Bartonella. Further naturopathic testing was done to evaluate his hormones, organ health and inflammation to determine the proper support required for this complex disease that affects many systems throughout the body. It was found that he had adrenal fatigue and low levels of protein. The patient started a rigorous naturopathic treatment plan beginning with supplementation to support his immune system and adrenal glands. These systems can become stressed when killing the infection. This included a variety of naturopathic herbs and vitamins that were specific for their requirements. Naturopathic IV therapies including nutrients, glutathione and hydrogen peroxide were used to support the immune system further and help to treat the infection. Upon recommendation of our Naturopathic Doctor, hyperbaric oxygen therapy was commenced at the same time the patient started antibiotics (prescribed by his medical doctor) for both Lyme disease and Bartonella. The hyperbaric oxygen helps to control symptoms of inflammation while the infection is being killed. The hyperbaric oxygen helped heal tissue, especially neurological, after being ill for more than a decade. The patient completed 60 HBOT treatments.

“Tailor-made treatment started right away, and now, about seven months later I am doing noticeably better.”

Within months the naturopathic patient reported a 60-70% improvement in symptoms. He felt better than he had at any point from when they first became ill. He was able to concentrate and do basic things like attending family gatherings and help around the house. The numbness and palpitations went away and he had a significant increase in physical stamina. He was able to start creative activities such as writing. Something he had not had the energy or cognitive ability to do in the past.

“My mind seems to be getting clearer every week now. As a result I’ve been able to start writing in earnest, and I’ve been trying out the one thing I’ve always wanted to do: living.”

The patient continued naturopathic treatment and IV ozone was added to his naturopathic treatment plan. The patient noticed an immediate improvement in mental clarity and decreased confusion. Bloodwork was done throughout treatment to ensure that his organs and immune system were healthy and strong, that his hormones were balanced, and that he had adequate levels of vitamins and minerals. The naturopathic patient continued to improve and was able to take on more daily activities. At that time his heavy metal load was re-evaluated and further hyperbaric treatments were suggested to heal what had been damaged from the original infection. The patient is able to begin part-time work.

Strengthen the patient – kill the bacteria

A man in his fifty’s became ill after returning from a vacation. It started with flu-like symptoms and he reported never feeling well since that time. He was experiencing extreme joint pain, lack of energy, stress, night sweats and fevers. He was taking ibuprofen daily to manage pain.

The patient saw one of the Naturopathic Doctors at the Nardella clinic in Calgary and it was determined he had elevated inflammatory markers in his blood. Additonal testing ordered by the Naturopath showed he was positive for both Lyme disease and the co-infection Babesia. He began naturopathic Lyme disease specific immune support along with a number of vitamins and herbs to keep his body healthy throughout treatment. Weekly naturopathic IV vitamins were administered to support his immune system and allow the body to deal with a systemic infection. IV hydrogen peroxide was added to help kill the infections, support the immune system, and treat other viruses that are common in patients with Lyme disease.

The naturopathic patient also started an antibiotic regimen (prescribed by his medical doctor) for Lyme disease designed to kill the different forms of the bacteria. The bacteria that causes Lyme disease exists in three different forms in the body: intracellular, cell wall and cystic. Different antibiotics are used to treat each of the different forms. Later on the patient started additional medications to treat the Babesia co-infection. Babesia is a parasitic infection similar to Malaria.

The patient noticed continual improvement from the start of naturopathic treatment until complete resolution of symptoms. He reported no joint pain, increased energy, and no more night sweats or fevers. At this point he finished the antimicrobial treatment and remained on continual naturopathic immune support. The patient continues naturopathic treatments for his immune system support and is monitored regularly for changes in his condition.

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